This go-round, “Gossip Girl” is serving up something sustainable.
In a partnership announced on Thursday, “Gossip Girl” costume designer Eric Daman is linking with ThredUp for themed styling boxes to give fans “on-screen looks sustainably at any price point.”
The styled boxes range in price point and sizes and are curated by Daman. Three stylized boxes offer access to the signature New York City style infused into the show: The Upper East Side Thrift Box (A-line dresses, flats, blouses), The Lower East Side Thrift Box (leopard print, leather and LBDs) and The Brooklyn Thrift Box (fanny packs, oversize tops, biker shorts).
Saying thrift is increasingly becoming an important part of the conversation in fashion, Daman expressed excitement for the ThredUp partnership and retraced his journey in styling both the original and the remake — which is streaming now on HBO Max.
“I loved styling the original ‘Gossip Girl,’ and it was an exciting challenge to re-envision the look of the show for a modern, Gen Z audience,” he said. “This time around, I incorporated a mix of high and low brands, including thrift and idiosyncratic pieces to reflect how fashion has become more inclusive.”
The original show starring Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen) and Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) first aired on The CW in September 2007 and wrapped five years later. Then, preppy headbands, designer logos and an air of superiority defined the Upper East Side set.
However, stark styling differences exist today. The Serena van der Woodsens and the Julien Calloways (the lead character in the remake) of Constance Billard — who both uphold the social status quo in the elite prep school — would disagree on their opinions of fashionability.
Highly influential yet with a soft spot for her half-sister Zoya (whose transfer to the school sparks controversy in Calloway’s friend circle), Calloway is routinely sporting throwback purses like vintage Dior saddle bags and Fendi Baguettes.
“When styling the original ‘Gossip Girl,’ I didn’t thrift a single item because it didn’t fit the characters at all. Serena van der Woodsen wouldn’t have been caught dead in a used garment!” Daman reiterated.
The Gen Z audience wants something more approachable than the latest, newest and biggest.
“Fashion has evolved since the original show came out, and now thrifted fashion fits the new characters’ ethos as Gen Z consumers. They care more about the environment, and they love a unique secondhand find. I’ve become more conscious of fashion’s impact on the planet over the years, and I would love to incorporate more thrift and sustainable fashion into my styling going forward,” Daman added.
Describing a love for New York’s great thrift stores (carried over from a Midwestern upbringing), Daman said the physical unknowns of designing for the show amid the pandemic made him pivot to online sourcing.
“It was interesting because Gen Z actually shops a lot online, so it felt very authentic to the way these characters would buy their clothes,” Daman said, adding that incorporating thrift into shows can be challenging because production necessitates having access to duplicates of the same item — yet “thrift is one of a kind.”
Nevertheless, Daman found designer handbags, statement items like camo pants and a “knockout Jean Paul Gaultier dress” in his digging around online at places like ThredUp.